SEPTEMBER 8, 2022
Monza must upgrade circuit to keep F1 race
Fabled Italian GP host Monza must improve its circuit facilities or risk falling off the Formula 1 calendar.
That is yet another warning about the fate of the historic race made by F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, mere days before Ferrari marks Monza's 100th birthday with a special yellow livery.
But Domenicali, who says next year's tally of 24 races for the season is the absolute limit for now, says he is under pressure to drop existing races for the future.
"I am proud of how many countries contact us to have F1," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"I came to Italy last night and went to see the basketball and a lot of people came to me congratulating me for the product in Formula 1," Italian Domenicali, the former Ferrari team boss, added.
"We are sold out until Abu Dhabi."
So with the French GP dropped for 2023, Germany no longer hosting a race and Spa-Francorchamps only clinging to its calendar spot with a new one-year deal, Domenicali is continuing to pile pressure on Monza.
"We must implement what has been agreed," he said, "to make the venue more comfortable for the public and the teams.
"I understand that the political and financial crisis may have caused delays, but we have shown our will by making compromises that we would not have accepted elsewhere.
"We did that for the sake of a grand prix that must remain on the calendar. But for this to happen, what we do must be impeccable."
As for Monza's 100th anniversary celebrations this weekend, Domenicali said the circuit "will celebrate other birthdays if Italy is able to create a system".
He said F1 has been told that construction on track improvements will begin in "coming months".
At least for 2023, however, Monza is still on the newly-leaked 2023 Formula 1 calendar, which is set to be ratified by the FIA shortly.
"There are no issues and we do not expect any surprises," Domenicali smiled. "We are just doing some refinements."